I work in an workplace down the corridor from my bed room. You can’t beat the commute or the proximity to my household. I wouldn’t need it another method. And I’m not the one one.
Regular work-from-home employment (not self-employment) has grown 173% since 2005. And three.four% of the workforce works from dwelling not less than half of the time, in accordance to information posted by Global Workplace Analytics.
This quick price of development doesn’t appear probably to sluggish if employers hear to their staff. In Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work examine, a resounding 99% of respondents mentioned they wished to work remotely not less than a part of the time for the remainder of their profession.
99% say they need to work remotely not less than half time for the remainder of their profession @Buffer analysis through @cmicontent. Click To Tweet
99%?! This is severe.
So what’s the issue with the expansion in working remotely?
It’s altering the best way the office operates and that requires altering the best way employers function. My content material group works throughout the United States and the world, however we’d like to function as if we have been in the identical room. Thus, now we have to develop our software choices to get the work completed.
Your content material advertising and marketing group could have related distant challenges. The designer can’t pop by a author’s desk to ask a query about content material for an infographic. At the manufacturing assembly, you don’t all sit in entrance of the identical whiteboard with the timeline and duties. You can’t collect across the convention room to brainstorm concepts. And when artistic frustration or author’s block hits, you possibly can’t take a break collectively and go seize a espresso.
Yet, distant content material group members don’t work robotically. We are nonetheless human. The voice on the opposite aspect of the convention name desires to really feel heard simply as a lot because the one in the chair subsequent to you. Add in the truth that many artistic professionals determine as introverts, to whom talking up on a crowded convention name doesn’t come naturally, and it’s straightforward for a lot of to get misplaced or cover behind a telephone line.
In the Buffer survey, two of the highest three struggles cited by distant staff are loneliness and communication/collaboration points.
Loneliness and communication/collaboration points are prime struggles by distant staff in accordance to @Buffer analysis through @cmicontent. Click To Tweet
To maintain your content material advertising and marketing group joyful, productive, and profitable – and to appeal to the very best expertise – you want to handle the areas the place distant groups can simply battle. While you could have lots of the obtainable instruments at your disposal, you almost certainly aren’t utilizing them repeatedly. You owe it to your group to strive these out.
Let’s sort out the three largest subjects – group, communication, and collaboration.
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Organization: Create and monitor a plan in your work
The want for organizing your content material group’s work is nothing new. But working in a number of cities and time zones makes it much more vital to maintain everybody on the identical web page with every ongoing content material initiative.
A workflow software like Asana (a favourite of mine and lots of content material advertising and marketing groups) retains tabs on ongoing initiatives. Built for the advertising and marketing trade, it is sensible for the best way content material advertising and marketing initiatives circulate.
.@Asana is sensible for the best way #contentmarketing initiatives circulate, says @writtenbyemilie through @cmicontent. #instruments Click To Tweet
As advanced as its performance is, it’s nonetheless consumer pleasant. You can view initiatives in a record, or on a board, calendar, or timeline, with one click on. It permits you to manage initiatives into groups so solely those that want to see them do. You can, in fact, monitor the standing, present blockers, feedback, deadlines, and extra, that may be seen by all group members. Asana additionally integrates with different instruments like Google Docs, Slack, and Litmus.
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Communication: Gather across the watercooler
Continuous communication amongst your content material advertising and marketing group members is one thing everybody wants. While e-mail technically supplies that chance, it communicates a formality and isn’t suited to a single query or group dialog with a lot of backwards and forwards.
What about whenever you simply need to (just about) lean over to your co-worker’s desk to ask, “Hey, what do you think of this subject line?” Enter: Slack.
Slack is by far the favourite chat platform amongst trendy advertising and marketing groups, and the format permits for each one-on-one chats and group conversations.
.@SlackHQ is the favourite chat platform amongst #advertising and marketing groups, and the format permits for each 1 on 1 chats and group convos, says @writtenbyemilie through @cmicontent. #instruments Click To Tweet
You also can arrange totally different channels for teams and subjects. At certainly one of my employers, we had a “Have You Seen This?” channel for sharing favourite Content Marketing Institute articles, Ann Handley newsletters, and information from Searchmetrics on the most recent Google algorithm replace. We additionally had a “Watercooler” channel that permits for discussions round pets, lunch, or a present occasion, permitting us to get to know one another exterior of formal conferences.
Being a distant employee, it’s straightforward to solely discuss to my co-workers in official conferences, the place something greater than “how was your weekend?” is misplaced. About as soon as a month, I like to begin my content material group conferences with an icebreaker query. Everyone can recommend one, and it forces every of us to reveal one thing about ourselves, nonetheless small:
- “What is your favorite content marketing blog?”
- “When did you know you wanted to be a writer?”
- “What non-work-related book are you currently reading?”
- “What is your favorite food?”
Start distant content material group conferences with an icebreaker query, says @writtenbyemilie through @cmicontent. #instruments Click To Tweet
Lucid Meetings went past the everyday icebreaker questions and made a record of icebreaker actions for distant groups. One is “take a picture of your shoes.” The ensuing collage of six pictures is amusing. It led to naked toes, slippers, and different surprising surprises that the standard waist-up video visible doesn’t catch. I’ll have to do that one with my very own group. (It’s additionally a wonderful means to set the stage for excellent brainstorming or artistic periods.)
Collaboration: Pull up a chair to your co-worker’s desk
As an editor, I want to give detailed suggestions, typically a number of instances per venture, so I’m partial to Google Docs. An unparalleled enhancing software, it’s also ideally suited for real-time digital collaboration for a content material group. You can work aspect by aspect (just about) in the identical doc and see real-time edits from different group members.
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Screen sharing is a game-changer in the distant world as a result of it offers you the power to lean over and have a look at the venture your teammate is engaged on (with their permission in fact). Any assembly is extra environment friendly with a shared display, whether or not it consists of a working doc, slide deck, street map, or digital whiteboard.
I’m attempting a few digital assembly instruments at present, however Skype for Business is a good normal.
An individual’s tone of voice tells you a lot, however not as a lot as facial expressions and physique language. Using video for conferences, even every now and then, helps any content material advertising and marketing group to join higher. Each voice turns into a particular person.
Be certain to warn attendees in advance. Remote employees have a tendency to take full benefit that they work in their home, so a bathe and hairbrush may have to be scheduled forward of a video name.
Still, nothing replaces face-to-face conversations. We nonetheless crave actual, human interactions. In-person team-building occasions and meetups not less than a couple of instances all year long are useful in creating a shut group.
For groups that discover it’s robust to coordinate or too costly, there’s a firm attempting to do one thing about it. Remo.co created digital joyful hours the place groups can hang around in rooms designated for actions like a e-book membership or informal dialog.
Use a digital workspace software equivalent to @use_remo for distant and distributed groups that need real-time collaboration, says @writtenbyemilie through @cmicontent. #instruments Click To Tweet
It additionally might work as a multi-team-building exercise for firms. For distant content material advertising and marketing groups that need to strengthen their reference to their gross sales or product groups, they’ll arrange an occasion with Remo. Then although the groups aren’t collectively in particular person, they’ll take part in team-building actions and play on-line video games collectively. (Full disclosure: I haven’t tried this one out, so for those who do, let me know the way it goes.)
Organize, talk, collaborate
Working remotely positively has its benefits, nevertheless it’s how your content material advertising and marketing group addresses the disadvantages that can predict your long-term success.
If you handle three of the most important pitfalls – group, communication, and collaboration – with instruments obtainable, your content material advertising and marketing group will discover itself fortunately working from the identical web page to ship excellent outcomes in your firm and your viewers.
What different instruments do you employ and what practices do you observe to create a fulfilled distant group? Share them in the feedback.
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Please observe: All instruments included in our weblog posts are urged by authors, not the CMI editorial group. No one put up can present all related instruments in the area. Feel free to embrace extra instruments in the feedback (out of your firm or ones that you’ve used).
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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute